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After my lamb salad from last week, which was very much inspired by Ireland, I’m going to take you on a journey to North Africa & the Middle East this week with my recipe for slow cooked pulled lamb with dips & pomegranate seeds. Unlike the lamb chops we prepared last week, we’re now going to be using lamb shoulder, as it’s the best for slow cooking & pulled lamb in general. As we are cooking quite a large amount of lamb and at low heat, this recipe is best for the weekend or when you’ve got a bit more time on your hands, but is well worth the time it takes to prepare and is great for making leftovers or feeding a large group.
For this recipe we’re going to make our own spice rub, made from some very common ingredients like pepper, paprika & garlic, but we’re also using ras el hanout, which is a spice that’s very common in North Africa. We’re also using harissa & za’atar for our dips, both of which are spices I’ve only discovered recently. I had seen harissa being used in a butternut squash salad and just had to try it. Za’atar is a spice mix that was recommend to me by one of my friends, and I absolutely LOVE using it in hummus. It’s really popular in Middle Eastern and North African cuisine. If you’ve never used it before I really hope you’ll like it as much as I do!
Now back to our delicious lamb! We really want to treat this piece of local lamb with a lot of patience and love, as it’s such a high quality ingredient to use in our cooking. In general, lamb graze on grass, wild herbs & fresh vegetation. We have so much rain which means that the grass stays green all year long, creating fertile soil for our sheep & lamb to graze on.
To really get the best flavours in this recipe, the lamb will be cooked for at least 4 hours at low heat, which means you can sit back & relax while the kitchen fills up with absolutely delicious aromas of the lamb cooking away in the oven.
Slow cooked pulled lamb with dips & pomegranatePrint Recipe
- 1.4kg lamb shoulder
- 10 tablespoons rapeseed oil
- 6 teaspoons paprika powder
- 4 teaspoons garlic powder
- 4 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons ras el hanout
- 2 teaspoons white pepper
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- few grinds of black pepper (about 3 teaspoons)
- 1 red onion
- 1 pomegranate
- 1l water
- 450g yogurt
- 1-2 tablespoons harissa powder
- 1-2 tablespoons za'atar
- pita breads/flatbreads
Mix our lamb rub: rapeseed oil, paprika powder, garlic powder, cumin, ras el hanout, pepper (black & white), cayenne pepper
Rub all sides of the lamb with the rub, leave a few tablespoons to stir into the pulled lamb at the end
Cover the lamb in a casserole and place in a fridge for at least 1 hour to really take in all those flavours
Preheat the oven to 150°C Fan
Slice up the red onion in thin strips (not chunks), add it to the casserole
Pour the water in the casserole, cover it with tin foil and cook the lamb for 4 hours. Take it out every hour and pour the water from the sides over the lamb, to keep it really juicy. Check to see if you can pull the lamb off the bone, if not, continue to cook for another 30 minutes at a time.
Uncover the casserole, increase the heat of the oven to 220° and let the lamb brown for 15-20 minutes
Meanwhile stir our dips together: use half the yogurt with harissa, the other half with za'atar. Start by 1 tablespoon in each yogurt as they can be quite strong flavours. You can also stir in a bit of honey to sweeten it up
Toast or grill the pita/flatbreads according to instructions
Slice the pomegranate in half and take out the seeds
Pull the lamb apart with a fork and remove any bones
Stir the pomegranate seeds into the lamb
Time to plate up! Put some lettuce on your flatbread or in your pita bread, add some pulled lamb and finish with a good drizzle of the dips